Full summary: In this not so new take on a GGDIME, a loud-mouthed, ostentatious, tempestuous, and rambunctious girl finds herself stolen away from her time and thrown headlong into a world at war. Middle Earth is facing an extraordinary evil…and Arianna just wants to shave.
In the clusterfuck of melodrama that has befallen her life, Arianna must find a way to survive the war, avoid falling in love, and figure out how to get home, all without disturbing the flow of the universe with her abounding knowledge of Tolkien's vibrant world.
Hey. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.
Welcome to Made to Endure, a humble fanfiction by dancewithitsghost
Buenos nachos, everyone! My name is Mandie. It's 1.20 in the morning for me, and as an acute insomniac, I like to pass the time by writing shameless fanfiction to appease my wild imagination. Lord of the Rings has always been one of my favorite fandoms, so I decided, Hey! Why not try my hand at a story? because lord knows I think about these things 24/7. Why, just the other night, I had a dream that I travelled with Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas on a grand adventure to the local bar. It was a dream for the history books, I'll tell you that. BUT, enough about me and my brain activity. This is the beginning of the story (setting up the plot and what have you), and I really hope you enjoy it! Feedback is always welcome; good or bad, I would love to hear from you! :)
Arianna had perched herself huffily atop one of the many thousands of rocks around her.
It seemed like hours since she'd awoken with a crick in her neck, finding herself lying on a bed of gravel at the base of a small river. That had been at the verge of dawn and Arianna was now rolling up on high noon in style, taking deep drags of her cigarette as she surveyed the landscape through her oversized aviators. She mulled over everything in her mind, all the possible ways that she might have ended up in this bizarre place.
She could have been kidnapped. Perhaps someone had stolen into her apartment late at night and taken her from her bed, intending to transfer her to a secondary location to do god-knows-what with her, but she had fallen from the back of their truck? She snorted. This was unlikely. Not only was Arianna a considerably light sleeper but her apartment also had an alarm system, so unless it was her own roommate that had shucked her body by the riverside, that theory was out.
She could have been sleepwalking. Arianna rolled her eyes at herself. Sleepwalking? She could barely sleep at all! She'd been dealing with acute insomnia for nearly four years now. Whenever she did manage to get to sleep, it was a pathetic and altogether useless one; she rarely ever made it into slow wave sleep, and thus, sleepwalking was not a valid hypothesis.
She could be dead. This, Arianna hated to admit, might be the most plausible of her deliberations. Possibly, she died during her sleep, a consequence of the many bad habits she'd developed in her short twenty years. She stared at the cigarette in her hand thoughtfully, sticking out her bottom lip and giving a small harrumph. Shrugging, she took another drag. Well, if she was already dead…
Continuing her thought, Arianna proceeded to look around. If she was dead, then where the hell was she? As an atheist, Arianna hardly believed in God, and thus, could not be justified in believing in Heaven, meaning that she was not justified in believing in Hell either. As far as she had been concerned, when someone died, they went in the ground and stayed there for the rest of eternity. There was none of that soul-ascending shit, and she certainly had never put stock in reincarnation.
"Okay, so maybe I'm not dead," she mused aloud, stubbing out the butt of her cig. She stood and slid her cigarette carton into her front pocket. "And if I'm not dead…" she took a deep breath, "WHERE THE HELL AM I?"
Her shout echoed through the air, carried on the wind across the river before dying away. Sighing, she flopped back down, her elbows on her knees. She had been staring at the same stretch of land since she'd sat herself on top of the rock nearly an hour ago, not exactly a proactive endeavor. She needed to find out where she was, but to do that, she needed someone to talk to. Nothing about this place looked familiar, and she was nearly positive the terrain didn't belong anywhere in her native Tennessee. If she was going to figure out anything, she would have to start walking.
"I wonder how long it will be before I find someone." She glanced back towards the river. She had put a fair bit of distance between herself and the water, but it was still well within her line of sight. Arianna's inner survival mode kicked into high gear. She didn't know how long she'd be without water, and without water, she wouldn't make it long at all. She needed to go back and drink as much as she could bear in order to stay hydrated. The last thing she wanted to do was collapse from dehydration. It had happened to her once before, and it wasn't an experience she was eager to repeat.
So she made her way slowly back down to the river, stumbling occasionally and cursing her center of balance (or lack of same, as it were). The sun had risen high and was shining brightly across the lands, warming her entire body. It was a pleasant sort of warmth, neither too hot nor too cool. It was lucky for her, the weather. It was like a nice, full spring day, where the breeze is refreshing and the sun is comfortable. However, she frowned, it was also disconcerting. When she had gone to bed last night, it had been under a bundle of covers nearly three inches thick. It was dead winter back home…
She finally reached the small river, bending down eagerly to take a mouthful of water. It tasted earthy and dirty, not at all the purified version that she was used to, but she could hardly be choosy right now. It was cool and refreshing enough. She took the time to pat her face with her wet hands, spreading the liquid across her shoulders and to the back of her neck. She gulped down five more handfuls before she stood, feeling full and content.
Arianna shrieked, whipping around so quickly that she lost her balance and tumbled straight to the ground, her arms flailing behind her and sliding into the water. She winced, feeling the sharp sting of the small rocks as they sliced through the skin on the back of her forearms. She stared, wide-eyed and agitated at the man before her.
"Fuck, man!" Arianna said loudly, willing her heart to stop thrashing. If it went any harder, it would beat right out of her chest. "Give a girl a warning, would you?" Scrambling, she stood, bringing beads of water with her and flinging droplets at him in annoyance. "Jesus!" She managed to reign in her shaking enough to stand on two solid legs, taking off her button-down shirt and flapping it in the wind. She gave the sleeves a few good wrings. She patted herself down, checking to see that her cami hadn't been dampened by her fall. She took the time to examine her arms as well; they were both reddening and raw, and a few faint scratches were developing nicely. She frowned. That was lame. Knowing there was very little she could do about it now, she slung her shirt back on, not bothering to button it this time. The arms, still damp, hung awkwardly, and she held them out pathetically to regard her newly developed fashion faux pas.
"I apologize. I did not mean to frighten you."
Arianna turned her eyes to the new arrival. He was wearing thick, grey trousers underneath a long, green tunic. Heavy boots adorned his feet and his forearms were covered in bracers. His hair was flat and unnaturally golden, braided in the front by his temples.
Arianna raised a brow. "You couldn't frighten a wet kitten, Legolas," she said, unimpressed. He did, indeed, look very much like the famous character. "You just startled me is all." She noticed that at the mention of the name Legolas, his own eyebrows had soared towards his abnormally high hairline. "So, what's with the getup? Is there a Con around?" Arianna took a moment to pat her butt for stray dust.
Distracted as she was by the quickly declining state of her clothing, Arianna didn't notice the shink of the dagger as it was drawn. Before she could even return her gaze to him, she felt the cold blade press lightly against her throat. Her eyes widened and she quickly returned to look at him. In doing so, she felt the blade slide eerily across her throat, and shook in quiet pain for a moment as it made a small cut.
"How is it you know my name?" he questioned sturdily, grabbing her arm with his free hand.
Arianna gaped like a fish for a moment, opening her mouth and closing it again when she found that her voice had gone shot. Instead of a verbal answer, Arianna gave him a hard shove in the chest with her free hand. "Are you serious, man? Get the fuck away from me!" Her meager shove wasn't nearly enough to budge him, and he had a firm grip on her arm, which he tightened as he drew her close again.
"Why do you know my name?" he repeated. "Who are you? A spy, sent to tempt us?"
"Ugh!" Arianna groaned. "Tempt you? Only in your dreams, you disgusting yiffer!" Yeah, she knew terms.
He gave her a long stare before he loosened his grip on her arm. He did not let go, but he removed the blade from her throat. He didn't remove it entirely, though; it stayed at the ready. "What is your name?" he posed warily.
"How about you let me go and take about four good steps back and I might tell you?" Arianna posed in quite the same manner. Reluctantly, he withdrew, releasing her arm, and – as she had requested – took exactly four full steps back. Arianna let out a strong breath, rubbing at her tender arm.
"My name is Arianna," she said quietly, studying him. "Who the hell are you? And I want your real name."
"But you know my name," he responded suspiciously. "You have already spoken it."
"Yes," Arianna began, exasperated, "I know that you're dressed up as Legolas! Points for you for staying in character, and points for me for knowing who the hell you were trying to be, but when I said real name, I meant the one your parents gave you! You know, the one you use to pay your bills."
"I am afraid that I do not understand you. Legolas is my real name, and I do not know what bills are."
Arianna fisted her hands on her hips and hung her head. "All right," she said, quickly reaching her boiling point as she glared at him again, "this is ri-god-damn-diculous! Look, buddy, I'm in a bit of a pinch, and I would really appreciate it if you would be serious with me right now. If you have to stay in character to do that, then whatever, but can you please at least tell me where we are?"
"We are in Eregion," Legolas responded calmly. His eyes betrayed him nothing. There was no twitch, not one little hiccup in his muscles, and he looked at her evenly. This guy was serious. He really just told her – with a straight face, no less – that they were in uninhabited lands of Middle Earth.
Furiously, Arianna rushed him. He raised his dagger again, but did not strike her. He merely grasped her, keeping her at arms length with a stern gaze and a strong hold. That was okay, though, arms length was all she needed. She made a mad swipe at his ear, full intent on yanking the damn prosthetic off. She caught it in her small hand and pulled with all her might. The man gave a very emasculating yelp and shoved her away almost immediately. Arianna looked down at her empty hand, staring in disbelief. There was no way…she had a solid grip on the ear, she was sure. There was no way she couldn't have pulled it off.
Arianna slowly brought her eyes up to meet his scandalized face. Could he really be…? No. It isn't possible. I mean. Elves don't exist. Maybe those are surgical implants? Elf ears, do they do that now?
Her mind whirled and a rolling wave of nausea overwhelmed her. Unsteadily, she moved back to him. Legolas was very hesitant to let her anywhere near him again, but he could see a drastic change had swept over her, and he allowed her to step closer. He watched her every move as she reached for his ear again, this time slowly. She let the very tip of her finger rest against it, and she took a deep breath as she ran her fingerprint along its length. He fought back a shiver.
"You," she choked out. The animosity in her voice was gone, and she now sounded scared. "You're an elf."
Bazinga! There you have it. The next chapter (given that there is enough interest and that I ever get around to posting it) will be much longer! This was just a tease, a taste, a prologue of sorts. Now, we can get down to the real fun! Again, feedback is welcome, good or bad, and thanks for taking time to read my drivel! :D